Farmers mainly keep cows as a form of wealth. Cow dung and urine are good manure for crops.
Keeping cows should lead to increased crop production and higher income. Cows also produce milk which farmers sell.
However milk is delicate and quite perishable. As food handlers, farmers have a responsibility to produce good, clean milk.
If the milk is unclean it may not have a good taste and it may go sour. Unclean milk can also cause illness to the consumers. There are some activities the farmer can do to produce good milk.
One important step is for the farmer to make sure that the milking shed is very clean. Germs from rotting dung or rubbish in the milking shed can lead to milk spoilage.
No one would enjoy drinking milk that has foreign objects in it especially when it has an unpleasant smell.
The milk containers must be well washed with clean water and soap and thoroughly dried before they are used to carry milk.
The milkman should be healthy and cautious of good hygiene practices. He should wash his hands well before milking the cow.
If he sneezes all the time and keeps going to the latrine during milking there is a high risk of introducing disease causing germs into the milk.
He should wash the udder and all around the cow’s breast area with warm water using a clean piece of cloth. He should also apply milking jelly on the teats to avoid causing bruises or cracking.
This practice should minimize any chances of foreign objects like cow dung, blood, pus and hairs getting into the milk.
When cows are fed on alcohol residues their milk could carry the smell of alcohol.
The cow from which the milk is obtained should be in good health. Milk from a cow under medication should not be taken to the market without approval from a vet doctor.
Some dishonest farmers put water into the milk to increase volumes. This destroys the quality of milk. To maximize chances of sustaining good quality milk, it should be stored in cold conditions of around 4 °C.